Monday, June 18, 2018

Soul Catchers by Carrie Pulkinen



Soul Catchers by Carrie Pulkinen is on sale for $1.99 for the ebook edition. This book draws inspiration from Little Red Riding Hood.

Book description:

Experience the first Kindle Scout Winner of 2018. An exciting dystopian fantasy full of magic, suspense, love, and adventure.

Whoever kills the wolf becomes the wolf...

Wren Lewis shouldn't be alive. Magic is illegal, making her mere existence a crime, and if the government ever discovers the truth about her powers, she'll be killed on the spot. Or worse. But when she uses her magic to kill a wolf that's attacking her mom, her abilities are exposed and the animal's evil spirit possesses her. Unable to control the beast inside her, she flees the city in search of a cure before the wolf spirit consumes her soul, turning her into a murderous monster permanently.

"Soul Catchers will catch your attention!" -New York Times Bestselling Author C.C. Hunter

"A very interesting take on shifters...I would recommend this to fans of wolves, shifters, fantasy, magic, and Little Red Riding Hood." -YA Books Central Reviewer

Friday, April 13, 2018

TODAY ONLY: Bargain Ebook: Black Thorn, White Rose




Black Thorn, White Rose by Ellen Datlow (Editor) and Terri Windling (Editor) is on sale TODAY ONLY for $2.99, down from $10ish.

Book description:

“Enchanting, witty” fairy tales for adults from Peter Straub, Daniel Quinn, Nancy Kress, Patricia C. Wrede, and other modern-day Grimms and Andersens (Publishers Weekly).

World Fantasy Award–winning editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling return with another superb collection of wonders and terrors. In Black Thorn, White Rose, the magical tales we were told at bedtime have been upended, turned inside out, reshaped, and given a keen, distinctly adult edge by eighteen of the most acclaimed storytellers ever to reinvent a fairy tale. Our favorite characters, from Sleeping Beauty to Rumpelstiltskin to the Gingerbread Man, are here but in different guises, brought to new life by such masters as Nancy Kress, Jane Yolen, Storm Constantine, and the late, great Roger Zelazny.

These breathtaking tales of dark enchantments range from the tragic and poignant to the humorous to the horrifying to the simply astonishing. The story of an aging woodcutter persuaded to help a desperate prince make his way through the brambles to save a sleeping beauty twists ingeniously around like the thorny wall that impedes them. The fable of an all-controlling queen mother who faces her most fearsome adversary in a sensitive princess who appears mysteriously during a storm is a dark, disturbing masterpiece. And readers will long remember the exquisite tale of Death, his godson, football, and MTV.

Anyone who has ever loved or even feared the old tales of witches and trolls and remarkable transformations will find much to admire in this extraordinary collection—happily ever after or not.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

TODAY ONLY Bargain Ebook: Black Heart, Ivory Bones edited by Datlow and Windling



Black Heart, Ivory Bones by Ellen Datlow (Editor) and Terri Windling (Editor) is on sale for $2.99 today only in ebook format!

Book description:

Favorite fairy tales are updated and hauntingly reimagined by twenty of today’s finest writers of fiction and fantasy

Once upon a time, all our cherished dreams began with the words once upon a time. This is the phrase that opened our favorite tales of princes and spells and magical adventures. World Fantasy Award–winning editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling understand the power of beloved stories—and in Black Heart, Ivory Bones, their sixth anthology of reimagined fairy tales, they have gathered together stories and poetry from some of the most acclaimed writers of our time, including Neil Gaiman, Tanith Lee, Charles de Lint, and Joyce Carol Oates. But be forewarned: These fairy tales are not for children.

A prideful Texas dancer is cursed by a pair of lustrous red boots . . . Goldilocks tells all about her brutal and wildly dysfunctional foster family, the Bears . . . An archaeologist in Victorian England is enchanted by a newly exhumed Sleeping Beauty . . . A prince of tabloid journalism is smitten by a trailer-park Rapunzel . . . A clockwork amusement park troll becomes sentient and sets out to foment an automaton revolution. These are but a few examples of the marvels that await within these pages—tales that range from the humorous to the sensuous to the haunting and horrifying, each one a treasure with a distinctly adult edge.

Bargain Ebook: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi



The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi is on sale for a short time for $2.99, down from the $10ish it was previously.

This book incorporates the folklore and mythology of India (as in the country, not Native American). Chokshi loves rich language--and it was revealed she is a fairy tale and SurLaLune reader before she knew I was in the room when I saw her at the Southern Festival of Books in 2016--so I have many reasons to recommend her here, too!  I love this current trend of Indian folklore inspired fiction with books like this and RenĂ©e Ahdieh's The Wrath and the Dawn to name a few. I read a lot of Indian folklore as I research so it has a filing cabinet all its own in my brain that I love to see explored through other sources.

Book description:

Praise for The Star-Touched Queen:
New York Times Bestseller
An Amazon Best Book of the Month
A Goodreads Best Book of the Month

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you're only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire...

But Akaran has its own secrets -- thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.

A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

TODAY ONLY Bargain Ebook: Silver Birch, Blood Moon, Short Story Anthology for $2.99



Silver Birch, Blood Moon edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling is on sale in ebook format for $2.99, down from the usual $8-10 range. The books on these series go on sale briefly semi-regularly (about once a year for each of the titles) and is on sale TODAY ONLY.

Book description:

Twenty-one darker, deeper, more adult takes on some of our favorite childhood fairy tales, from acclaimed contemporary fantasists

Long ago, when we were children, our dreams were inspired by the fairy tales we heard at our mothers’ and grandmothers’ knees—stories of princesses and princes and witches and wondrous enchantments, by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, and from the pages of 1001 Arabian Nights. But, as World Fantasy Award–winning editors Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling remind us, these stories were often tamed and sanitized versions. The originals were frequently darker—and in Silver Birch, Blood Moon, they turn darker still.

Twenty-one modern Grimms and Andersens—masterful storytellers including Neil Gaiman, Nancy Kress, and Tanith Lee—now reinvent beloved bedtime stories for our time. The Sea Witch gets her say, relating the story of “The Little Mermaid” from her own point of view. “Thumbelina” becomes a tale of creeping horror, while a delightfully naughty spin is put on “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Author Caitlin R. Kiernan transports Snow White to a dark, gritty, industrial urban setting, and Patricia Briggs details “The Price” of dealing with a royal and unrepentantly evil Rumpelstiltskin.

Rich, provocative, and unabashedly adult, each of these tales is a modern treasure, reminding us that wishes have consequences and not all genies have our best interests at heart.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Bargain Ebook: As Old As Time: A Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell for $.99




As Old As Time: A Twisted Tale (Twisted Tale, A) by Liz Braswell is on sale for $0.99 in ebook format down from its usual $9.99. I don't know how long the sale will last so don't dawdle if you're interested in it.

This is a novelization of the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. This is the third book in Braswell's series. She's also explored Sleeping Beauty in Once Upon a Dream: A Twisted Tale: A Twisted Tale and Aladdin in A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale.

Book description:

What if Belle's mother cursed the Beast? As Old as Time is the third book in a new YA line that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways. When Belle touches the Beast's enchanted rose, memories flood through Belle's mind—memories of a mother she thought she would never see again. And, stranger still, she sees that her mother is none other than the beautiful enchantress who cursed the castle and all its inhabitants. Shocked and confused, Belle and the Beast will have to unravel a dark mystery about their families that is 21 years in the making.

Bargain Ebook: Once Upon A Quest: 15 Tales of Adventure (Once Upon Series Book 3)



Once Upon A Quest: 15 Tales of Adventure (Once Upon Series Book 3) is bargain priced in ebook format for $2.99. This is the third volume in the anthology series and features some well-known authors, like Alethea Kontis. It was just released last month.

Book description:

Fifteen brand new fairytale twists from the bestselling and award-winning authors who brought you Once Upon A Curse and Once Upon A Kiss! With inspirations ranging from The Ugly Duckling to Snow White, and everything in between (including trips to Camelot and Oz), these fabulous tales are full of adventure, magic, and a touch of romance.

WEST OF THE MOON by Annie Bellet
When her twin brother sacrifices his freedom to save their starving family, Lina embarks on a quest through a magical forest to save him and restore their fortunes.

A BELL IN THE NIGHT by Evelyn Snow
For Stevie Silver, waking the beautiful boy in the glass box is only the beginning, as her mysterious past catches up with her.

MISTRESS BOOTSI by Anthea Sharp
A girl sets out to seek her fortune - and luckily, she has a clever cat for a companion…

WHITE ROSE by Phaedra Weldon
Jack Frost must find his true love and save her from the Snow Queen’s icy shards before he loses her - and his chance at humanity - forever.

THE GOBLIN AND THE TREASURE by Alethea Kontis
Out-of-work soldier Kira Kobold is handpicked by the High Wizard Zelwynn to go on a quest. Her companions? A growly ogress, a surly dwarf, a dimwitted troll, and an overly optimistic goblin. This wasn’t exactly the quest she was looking for…

THE RUINS OF OZ by Alexia Purdy
The Land of Oz was the last place Thea thought she’d find herself after falling through her mother’s enchanted mirror. If the stories she’s been told are real, why is the Emerald City in ruins?

A TOUCH OF GOLD by Rachel Morgan
When Tilly helps two strangers escape from danger, she becomes part of their quest to keep a powerful magical ability out of the wrong hands ...

MAGIC AND MACHINERY by Jamie Ferguson
Maude works with machinery, not magic. Can she find a way to escape the magician’s grasp and free her beloved brother?

BLOW YOUR HOUSE DOWN by Nikki Jefford
In a brave new world, three wizards journey through wild shifter territories to find somewhere to begin anew.

BANE AND BALM by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson
When the stream providing healing water to Claire’s sick aunt dries up, she must venture into the dreaded Dorcha Forest, where she discovers a stranger willing to risk his freedom in order to help her on her quest.

CAT WHITE by Kay McSpadden
He thought he was following the music, but a white cat led him to realize life held more adventure than he’d guessed.

KING ARTHUR AND THE CHALICE OF LIFE by Julia Crane
Camelot may be at peace, but betrayal and death lurk within the mists surrounding it.

FEAR OF FALLING by Shawntelle Madison
Cast from her griffin’s nest, Ireti is forced into the cruel world of the ground-walkers below. Before she can fly, Ireti must find the strength to walk, and the key to acceptance lies in an undiscovered place—between two worlds.

THE MERROW’S GOLDEN RING by Sara C. Roethle
Ailios was taught to never believe a promise from one of the Faie, but that doesn’t stop her from doing it anyway.

TAKE MY MONSTERS by C. Gockel
In the wilds of the barbarian north, Roman slave Margusa meets a warrior enchanted and enslaved by an Elf Queen. To set him free, Margusa must first confront the monsters within herself...

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Bargain Ebook: Once Upon A Curse: 17 Dark Faerie Tales (Once Upon Series)



Once Upon A Curse: 17 Dark Faerie Tales (Once Upon Series) is bargain priced in ebook format for $.99. This is the first volume in the anthology series and features some well-known authors, like Alethea Kontis and Yasmine Galenorn.

Book description:

#1 Bestseller in Fantasy Anthologies and Dark Fantasy Seventeen magical stories from NY Times and USA Today bestsellers and award-winning authors that will entice you to the darker side of faerie tales. More Grimm than Disney, in this collection you’ll find twists on Snow White, Hansel & Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, The Snow Queen, Cinderella, The Pied Piper, Alice in Wonderland, and Red Riding Hood, plus new tales paying homage to the old traditions.

Shadows cannot exist without light, however, and you’ll find enough happily-ever-afters to lift your spirits in this anthology full of adventure, dark powers, and ultimately the enduring power of true love.

YARROW, STURDY AND BRIGHT by Devon Monk – Sweet music cannot hide a wicked heart…

FAE HORSE by Anthea Sharp – Faerie bargains can grant any desire, but be careful what you wish for.

THE QUEEN OF FROST AND DARKNESS by Christine Pope - Her heart is the only thing colder than a Russian winter….

BONES by Yasmine Galenorn - Sometimes, your most cherished dream can turn out to be a nightmare.

MAGIC AFTER MIDNIGHT by C. Gockel – The Wicked Stepmother is about to meet her match…

DANCE WITH THE DEVIL by Donna Augustine - When the devil makes a deal with a dancer, he gets more than he bargained for.

NO GIFT OF WORDS by Annie Bellet - Never steal from a witch...

THE GRIM BROTHER by Audrey Faye – Not all walks in the wood end well…

BEAST INSIDE BEAUTY by Danielle Monsch - Happily Ever After ain't guaranteed when Once Upon a Time is here.

FAESCORNED by Jenna Elizabeth Johnson - The Morrigan, Celtic goddess of war and strife, must relive a painful memory that reminds her of what she can never have.

DRAWN TO THE BRINK by Tara Maya - Sajiana's job is to hunt down monsters brought alive from paintings. She never expected to meet one so handsome... or to need his help.

THE VARIANCE COURT by Alexia Purdy - Anna, a struggling college student, discovers a mysterious ring that turns her quiet life chaotic when the ring's magic doesn't do what it's told.

THE MORRIGAN by Phaedra Weldon – A young man discovers he has leprechaun blood – and is wanted by dark faerie forces.

ALICE by Julia Crane - A twisted tale of Alice and Wonderland. Facing madness and an ominous prophecy, Alice chooses to follow her heart despite knowing her world is about to change forever.

STILL RED by Sabrina Locke – When the Hunters come, can there be any escape?

THE FINAL STRAW by Jennifer Blackstream - To banish a gold-spinning demon, first you must guess his name...

THE UNICORN HUNTER by Alethea Kontis – Only Snow White knows what really happened in the forest…

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

State of SurLaLune: March 2018 Report



Hi Everyone,

What do you do when a site that is almost 20 years old with over 10,000 pages on it needs a redesign? 

You take FOREVER to make it happen. I've perfected procrastinating my procrastination of the work. 

In the coming weeks, really and truly, the SurLaLune Fairy Tale site is receiving a makeover. It is long past due to become mobile responsive. It is time for a different look. The task has been daunting and will happen in phases. 

First and foremost, the annotated tales pages and the introduction materials are going to be launched with new looks. Old bookmarks will break, alas, although I am trying to insure we have redirects in place for the most popular pages especially.

Aaron McMillian has been busily creating original illustrations for the banners on the pages. SurLaLune is going to look much more modern, rather a must with the programming needs for a mobile responsive site. His banner illustration for Bluebeard graces the top of this blog entry. It's been really fun to see what he's produced for tales like Maid Maleen and some others that so rarely get any treatment. He did a few tales for me at the beginning for fun and I fell so in love with his work that I asked for all 49 annotated tales to receive similar treatment. I'm not demanding or anything, but I really wanted a pretty new site and illustration is an art of which I can only ever be a great patron!

I've also received help from Brett Hicks for the programming which is also lovely work but not as easy to appreciate with the eyes. Good programming is invisible to the average user because they are too busy enjoying the page content to notice. I'm not going it alone this time but that is still a small team for a big task. And it has to happen in the time when we don't have bigger clients who pay for our work since SurLaLune is still very much a non-profit (although not registered as such). If I depended on it to feed me, let alone the guys, we'd get Ramen noodles once a week after SurLaLune's overhead costs are accounted for.

But this is my young adult child. Can't really call it is a baby when it is 20 years old, can I? And has defined the years of my adulthood since I started it when a young grad school student. It needed to get some grown-up clothes to wear out into the world again. The last redesign was 10 years ago. Time flies way too fast. When did I become middle-aged?

After we get the redesign launched, I will be updating pages with new copy, books, etc., too. I have a long list. I tremble to think I may even get some of it done!

On that note, I haven't even been able to muster the energy to look at the SurLaLune emails in at least six weeks. I've had to break in two new computers in that time. And as always, I have been working my real world job (which was not quieter during the last few months like it usually is which is good since I really like reading, food, clothes and shelter) and trying to complete two SurLaLune book titles that are nearly, nearly done. First is the second expanded edition of Sleeping Beauties: Sleeping Beauty  and Snow White Tales From Around the World and the second is Diamonds and Toads: Tales of Kind and Unkind Girls From Around the World. 

Anyway, SurLaLune is not dead. Neither am I. Long live SurLaLune! Me, maybe not but I hope I have several more decades in myself, too. If I can maintain the stamina...  


Bargain Ebook: Once Upon A Kiss: 17 Romantic Faerie Tales




Once Upon A Kiss: 17 Romantic Faerie Tales is bargain priced in ebook format for $.99. This is the second in the anthology series and features some well-known authors, like Alethea Kontis and Yasmine Galenorn.

Book description:

Seventeen all new, magical stories from NY Times and USA Today bestsellers and award-winning authors that will warm even the coldest hearts. Inspired by old favorites as well as lesser-known tales, find retellings of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Old Rinkrank, King Thrushbeard, The Princess and the Pea, and many more - all with fresh, romantic twists - just in time for Valentine’s Day~

THE GLASS MOUNTAIN - Alethea Kontis
On the way to her wedding, brave and clever Princess Sabine falls into a Glass Mountain, where she is trapped with a crotchety man she calls “Old Rinkrank.” The two form a unique, unlikely friendship while working to escape.

THE BAKERS GRIMM - Hailey Edwards
When two struggling business owners compete for the contract of a lifetime, it’s all bakers on deck. Mix in a dollop of rivalry, a tablespoon of romance, and a pinch of magic, and you’ve got the recipe for one heck of a bake-off. May the best decorator win!

GALATEA AND PYGMALION - Kate Danley
A young woman in ancient Greece is tasked with carving a new statue for Aphrodite's temple. But what happens when she falls in love with her art?

RED– Sarra Cannon
Charlotte is searching for a cure to save her sister, but what she finds in the woods is not at all what she expects...

PRINCESS CHARMING – Yasmine Galenorn
Sometimes, the road to Happily Ever After leads a girl right past Prince Charming... into the arms of his sister.

MAD ABOUT YOU – Jennifer Blackstream
Alice doesn't want to marry the Mad Hatter. Will an unexpected trip to Wonderland change her mind?

THE SEA KING'S DAUGHTER — Anthea Sharp
A mermaid gives up everything to be with the mortal man she loves – but can there be a happy ending when the Sea Witch intervenes?

ROMEO AND JULIET: THE AFTERLIFE – Julia Crane
Juliet enters the afterlife and discovers the truth behind her relationship with Romeo and Paris - and that their greatest challenge is yet to come.

SOOT AND STONE: A Fae Tale of the Otherworld - Jenna Elizabeth Johnson
Aisling, a young Faelorehn artist, finds herself falling for the son of one of the famed Tuatha De Danann. The only problem is, she’s unaware of his true identity, and her selfish uncle will do anything to keep her from realizing her dreams.

THE HUNTSMAN'S SNOW – Mandy M. Roth
Sometimes, a prince isn’t as charming as history would like you to believe. And sometimes, a princess needs an alpha male shifter to find her happily ever after.

RUMPELIMPSKIN - Debra Dunbar
An imp finds herself in a fairytale world without her infernal powers facing an impossible task. Will Sam barter away her firstborn? Will her angelic main-squeeze save her? Or will she come up with a devilish solution of her own?

THE GLASS SKY - Alexia Purdy
Star’s refusal of suitors lined up for her hand has her family in knots, but when the city is bombed and overthrown, she loses everything. After she’s rescued by a handsome stranger named Clyde, she sneaks away to save her parents but finds herself trapped in the new president’s clutches.

RUSH - C. Gockel
Misogyny is a beast.
When the incarnation of Creation gets angry at Rush for innocently stating his opinion, she curses him to find true love in two weeks … or else.

PERCHANCE TO DREAM – Phaedra Weldon
Her first love has been placed under a spell. But will her kiss wake him… or kill him?

THE TOAD PRINCE - Nikki Jefford
Isabel Ivers’s stepfather will do anything to secure his place as Far North’s new ruler, even if it means marrying her off to the depraved prince of the lowlands.

CRAFTED WITH A KISS - Shawntelle Madison
Despite fighting in countless battles to bring peace to warring kingdoms, Pynnelope, a warrior maiden made of wood, knows no fear. Becoming human is all she desires until she discovers she can have so much more.

A SMALL MAGIC - Devon Monk
A cursed princess, a talking pea, and a wish that changes everything.

Bargain Ebook: The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins



The Great Pursuit (Eurona Trilogy Book 2) by Wendy Higgins is on sale in ebook format TODAY ONLY for $1.99 when it is usually $9.99. This is the sequel to The Great Hunt, a book inspired by the Grimms' tale, "The Singing Bone."

Book description:

In The Great Pursuit, the dramatic sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Great Hunt, Wendy Higgins delivers another thrilling fantasy filled with dangerous enemies, political intrigue, searing romance, and a princess who is willing to do everything to protect her kingdom.

One hunt has ended, but the pursuit for love and justice continues.

The kingdom of Lochlanach has traded the great beast that once terrorized the realm of Eurona for something far more dangerous: the ire of powerful Lashed woman Rosaria Rocato. Rosaria demands that Eurona overturn the laws prohibiting magic, or an innocent will be killed each day.

Despite the king’s resistance, Princess Aerity believes they must make peace with the Lashed, and though she’s accepted a betrothal to the man who took down the beast, she cannot help thinking about Paxton, the Lashed man who stole her heart and disappeared.

Aerity soon discovers that Paxton has joined Rosaria’s army in the war against her family. Though her feelings for him are still strong, her duty to her kingdom and her family is stronger—especially when her parents are kidnapped and she has to step up to the throne and once again put aside what’s best for her in order to do what’s best for her people. Paxton and Princess Aerity must fight to see what is more powerful: their love or the impending war between the magical Lashed and the non-magic humans.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

New Book: The Annotated African American Folktales



The Annotated African American Folktales by Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Editor) and‎ Maria Tatar (Editor)
was released late last year but is timely to consider now for upcoming Black History Month in February. I always have a great affection for these stories since they tend to be predominantly from the Southern U.S., making them something I grew up with. Folklore is often a genre of empowerment for the powerless or less powerful peoples in history, be it powerlessness from age, gender, race, etc. This collection is an excellent reminder of the power of folklore. From the introductions to the annotations, there is a lot to be learned and appreciated within these pages while the tales themselves can be very entertaining.

Book description:

These nearly 150 African American folktales animate our past and reclaim a lost cultural legacy to redefine American literature.

Drawing from the great folklorists of the past while expanding African American lore with dozens of tales rarely seen before, The Annotated African American Folktales revolutionizes the canon like no other volume. Following in the tradition of such classics as Arthur Huff Fauset’s “Negro Folk Tales from the South” (1927), Zora Neale Hurston’s Mules and Men (1935), and Virginia Hamilton’s The People Could Fly (1985), acclaimed scholars Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Maria Tatar assemble a groundbreaking collection of folktales, myths, and legends that revitalizes a vibrant African American past to produce the most comprehensive and ambitious collection of African American folktales ever published in American literary history. Arguing for the value of these deceptively simple stories as part of a sophisticated, complex, and heterogeneous cultural heritage, Gates and Tatar show how these remarkable stories deserve a place alongside the classic works of African American literature, and American literature more broadly.

Opening with two introductory essays and twenty seminal African tales as historical background, Gates and Tatar present nearly 150 African American stories, among them familiar Brer Rabbit classics, but also stories like “The Talking Skull” and “Witches Who Ride,” as well as out-of-print tales from the 1890s’ Southern Workman. Beginning with the figure of Anansi, the African trickster, master of improvisation―a spider who plots and weaves in scandalous ways―The Annotated African American Folktales then goes on to draw Caribbean and Creole tales into the orbit of the folkloric canon. It retrieves stories not seen since the Harlem Renaissance and brings back archival tales of “Negro folklore” that Booker T. Washington proclaimed had emanated from a “grapevine” that existed even before the American Revolution, stories brought over by slaves who had survived the Middle Passage. Furthermore, Gates and Tatar’s volume not only defines a new canon but reveals how these folktales were hijacked and misappropriated in previous incarnations, egregiously by Joel Chandler Harris, a Southern newspaperman, as well as by Walt Disney, who cannibalized and capitalized on Harris’s volumes by creating cartoon characters drawn from this African American lore.

Presenting these tales with illuminating annotations and hundreds of revelatory illustrations, The Annotated African American Folktales reminds us that stories not only move, entertain, and instruct but, more fundamentally, inspire and keep hope alive.

The Annotated African American Folktales includes:


  • Introductory essays, nearly 150 African American stories, and 20 seminal African tales as historical background
  • The familiar Brer Rabbit classics, as well as news-making vernacular tales from the 1890s’ Southern Workman
  • An entire section of Caribbean and Latin American folktales that finally become incorporated into the canon
  • Approximately 200 full-color, museum-quality images color throughout; 160 illustrations